One CU's Four-Step SEG Program

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Michael DeShazo, VP-member services for San Diego-based Cabrillo Credit Union, told The CUNA Marketing Council his CU has a four-step procedure to working with SEGs.

For starters, he said many credit unions would benefit from an examination of their original charter. For example, Cabrillo CU started as a credit union for Border Patrol agents. "Revisit with the original company and emphasize credit union benefits to employees," he advised.

The second step is to recognize the difference between expenses and expense. At a minimum, a business development rep must have some sort of giveaway, such as cookies or a pen set. When the rep takes someone to lunch, it is vital he or she pay with a credit union credit card. "It would be a huge mistake for that person to pull out a BofA credit card," he noted.

Other necessary expenses include donations to charity. DeShazo said Cabrillo donates frequently, but not "big money." Instead, it participates in small community events such as raffles and Easter egg hunts. A donation of as little as $100 can make a huge difference to a small function, he said. Instead of cash prizes for raffles, he recommends purchasing a few inexpensive TVs for $50 each and donating those.

Step three is empowerment. DeShazo said the business development rep must be empowered to go outside guidelines a little bit.

The fourth and final step is the rep himself or herself. According to DeShazo, a "QVC" personality is 75% of the business development position. "This person must be able to sell the credit union to the membership" and emphasize the "special benefits."

Examples include holiday or summer skip payment programs, or specialized auto loan programs, DeShazo said. California has a large registration fee for new vehicles-$600 on a $30,000 car. Cabrillo cuts a check to the state Department of Motor Vehicles on the member's behalf, and then adds the amount to the loan.

"Another thing we can do is make certain ATMs fee-free for credit union debit card holders in lieu of opening more ATMs. Credit unions have a lot of advantages, so the rep must make sure he or she is emphasizing them."

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